Author's Notes: Hurray, I've finally finished my first Ouran High School Host Club story!! I somehow feel like I've committed a major accomplishment. But I digress...I started writing this one a few days ago in Pre-calc while I was taking notes (heh, I suppose I'm good at multitasking) and finished a few hours ago. Slight Honey/Mori.
Update: Heh, I fixed some much needed name spelling errors. Sorry about the inconvenience!!
Summary: Sometimes we all feel like someone else. At least that's what Haruhi says.
Disclaimer: Sadly, I do not own OHSHC, not matter how much the Kaoru and Hikaru try to trick Bisco Hatori into selling me the rights. I do own the plot to this story.
"Oh Honey, you are just so adorable!" a pretty blond girl cooed, placing another slice of heavily frosted cake in from to me. To tell you the truth, I couldn‛t quite remember her name. Faces tended to blend together after a while, only a few prominent in the blur and confusion; Kaoru and Hikaru, Kyouya, Tama, Haruhi...Takashi. Most especially Takashi.
For some reason some reason, I froze, the new plate of cake I‛d just picked up suddenly weighing a ton in my hands. I quickly replaced it on the table, frowning at the floor. And unfamiliar revulsion filled me, coursing through my veins like quicksilver. I couldn‛t distinguish where exactly these feelings were being directed, to the girl for calling me such a suddenly atrocious word, or myself for actually fitting the pertinent description.
"Please excuse me, ladies," I said with much more formality than I was used to. I felt the words snap off my tongue, a little cold, a little impolite, and it felt good.
I saw the curious gazes of my fellow Host Club members, the twins a little pleased to see this wonderful new development. Takashi quickly looked up as I walked by, a concerned crease in his normally stoic brow. Later, I mouthed to him, continuing my trek to the bathroom. Indeed, there were a few questions I was suddenly burning to ask him.
Closing the bathroom door a little forcefully behind me, I crossed the small room to gaze at myself in the mirror. The face that stared intently back at me was, for lack of a better word, cute. Unruly, boyish hair, wide, innocent-looking eyes, the body of a small ten year old while the mind was that of an eighteen year old. Smirking to myself ironically, I was beginning to wonder if Chika was right. Maybe I really was an alien.
Almost desperately, I glanced down at my hands, the sole physical feature that betrayed my true age. It was true that they were small, in perfect proportion to my body, but they contained power. Maybe not nearly as much as Takashi‛s, but they were a far cry from the average set of hands. They were calloused from many years of training, faintly scarred from the remnants of ancient blisters upon blisters.
Sighing, my eyes returned to the mirror, my arms dropping to my sides. I stepped over to the sink, turning the faucet on, and wetted my hands, running fingers through my hair in a way that was on the verge of violence; rough, tearing, forceful. Anything to flatten it to my head as much as possible.
"Is it just me, or does Honey seem out of sorts?" Kaoru mused, watching the upperclassmen practically stalk off to the bathroom.
"Indeed," Kyouya said, not bothering to look up as his pen scratched quickly across his notebook. After a moment‛s pause, he looked up at the redheaded twins who sat directly across from him. "You two surprise me." He grinned wryly, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose in a fashion that would have been deemed utterly darky had it been done by anyone other than Kyouya Ohtori.
"How so, senpai?" Hikaru asked, leaning forward with mile intrigue.
"Normally when one of the club members is ‛out of sorts,‛ the two of you pounce. Especially when it concerns Tamaki."
Hikaru rolled his eyes. "We‛re not idiots, you know." Kyouya raised an eyebrow.
Kaoru went on, "You and Honey-senpai are the only ones whom wouldn‛t let us get away with it."
"You would make our lives eternally miserable and Honey would just kick our asses."
"True," Kyouya agreed, setting his pen down."
"Tamaki, however, is a special case. Special cases require...special attention."
I saw Haruhi staring whimsically out the window when I finally emerged from the bathroom. Haruhi had always been good to talk to, good at giving advice and seemed like a good person to talk to. Besides all that, she really cared.
"Hello Honey," she said with a smile as I approached.
"Hi," I replied a little glumly.
Her smile faltered slightly, turning into a frown. "You‛re not yourself today, Honey-senpai," she said matter-of-factly.
"Yeah," I replied, crossing my arms and staring out the window as the grounds.
"Sometimes we all feel like another," she commented. Dropping her voice an octave so only I could hear, Haruhi added, "Look at me. Nearly everyone in this room thinks I‛m a boy."
I smiled. For as over-analytical and oblivious she was sometimes, Haruhi could always make me smile. The real question was whether or not that was her intention.
I decided not to bother her with my newfound self-consciousness, instead sitting by her and gazing out the window until Host Club was over for the day. There wasn‛t really any need to add to her list of worries, not if there was anything I could do about it.
"Mitsukuni," I heard a deep voice say from behind me. I had been sitting idly in my room for the past few hours now, flipping through old year book, reading what well-wishers had written on it‛s pages. They all seemed to be some variant of Dear Honey, Stay kawai!! I‛d tossed the last year book aside only moments before the voice tore me from my reverie.
"Takashi," I replied, not turning around. Instead, I buried my face in my hands with frustration.
"Mitsukuni, what is the matter?" he asked, sitting on my bed behind me. He gently placed a hand on my shoulder with the obvious intention of comforting me. I was reluctant to admit it, but it did help a little.
Sighing, I turned around to sit next to him on the edge of the bed, my legs dangling, feet not even meeting the floor. I noticed that Takashi‛s legs reached and with plenty of extra. "I‛m not happy with myself," I replied honestly, looking up at him quickly.
"Tell me," he replied in that deep, quiet, calm voice of his. "Tell me what you‛re feeling."
But where to begin? There were many things that I was suddenly unhappy with that had never once bothered me before. Or maybe they had and I‛d just been repressing the feelings. I wasn‛t really sure anymore. "I feel...inadequate," I said after a time. "I feel like I don‛t know who I am anymore."
"You‛re Mitsukuni Haninozuka," Takeshi said helpfully.
"Yes, but who is he?" I asked. "Just who is Mitsukuni Haninozuka? He‛s an teenager on the verge of adulthood trapped inside a child‛s body. He‛s obsessed with sweets, especially cake, and because of his, he doesn‛t live up to his full potential." Taking a deep breath, I went on. "He‛s everyone‛s little brother even though he‛s older than them. He‛s an amusement, a distraction, nothing more."
Takashi looked thoughtfully down at me for a moment before gently cupping my face in one of his large hands. "We all have to grow up, Mitsukuni. Maybe your time is now."
I sighed, thinking his statement over. Maybe my new unexpected self-consciousness was simply a part of growing up, to be unhappy with oneself, to want change, to want something more. "I-I think that you‛re right Takashi. Maybe I am growing up."
"I noticed that you‛re about an inch taller," he admitted with a simple smile.
"Really?" I asked, surprised, yet pleased, to hear such.
"Mm-hmm," he said, nodding.
"Good. I‛m glad I‛m taller. Hopefully I‛m at least as tall as Haruhi someday."
"Set you‛re sights high, have you?" he joked, running his long fingers threw my still-flattened hair. It sprang back to life.
"Maybe in our next life, you‛ll be looking up to me," I said with an amused giggle.
The smile slid off his face, his eyes growing thoughtful. "I already do," he replied honestly.
"I don‛t understand."
"You have a big heart, Mitsukuni. You have such a big talent of being able to love. You make the people around you smile and laugh. You‛re far from inadequate, despite what you think. You‛re perfect the way you are."
"Thank you, Takashi," I said, jumping off the bed to stand in front of him. Leaning forward and standing on my tiptoes, I kissed him sweetly on the cheek. He smiled, his fingers lightly touching where my lips had been only a second previous. I was beginning to feel a little better about myself already.
Later that night, after Takashi left, leaving me feeling surprisingly good about myself, the best I had in who knows quite how long, I discovered a sheet of paper under my pillow as I was getting ready to go to bed for the night. Pulling it out, I saw that it was an article printed off the computer. One particular passage was highlighted in blue, reading:
As it ages, sugar has a tendency to solidify into a harder, more compact substance. It has far less cooking opportunities than the freshly purchased equivalent used in sweets, but is readily used in the cooking of more substantial foods, like roast pork and beef.
Smiling to myself, I replaced the paper under my pillow and closed my eyes.
Author's Notes: Hope you enjoyed it! Please leave me a review letting me know what you think.